In far-flung parts of our great land – admittedly, the more foreign parts, like California and Vermont – there is a homegrown movement afoot to (Warning: if you read the following words, Homeland Security officers may show up on your doorstep) impeach the Shrub.
The grassroots types aren’t the only ones with this thought, of course: At least one book has been written about it, and conversation about the idea is all over the web. Action on the topic, however, has not been all over Congress, so the activists have turned to another venue to make their point: They are asking city councils to pass resolutions endorsing the removal of both George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. About 85 cities have passed it, including Detroit, Santa Cruz, and Woodstock.
In alphabetical order, Fort Worth would have fit on the list of impeachment-friendly cities somewhere between Ferndale, Mich., and Grafton, Vt. But, c’mon, do you really think an oil-and-gas baron mayor serving on a conservative city council nestled in a Republican stronghold smack dab in the Bible Belt is going to support impeaching the president and vice president, even after they’ve spat on the Constitution, lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, snubbed U.S. traditions to start a pre-emptive war, allowed domestic wiretapping and surveillance of Americans without warrants, and ordered indefinite detentions of people without charges or access to attorneys? Still, miracles happen. So a small collection of Green Party members and Code Pink activists descended on council chambers last Thursday, resolution in hand.
The chapter heading for what happened next probably should read “With Friends Like This, Who Needs Enemies?” Members of the Industrial Workers of the World – part of the oldest Socialist labor movement in the United States – showed up in support. They sported gaudy facial piercings, waved red and black flags, and talked about the abolition of capitalism. In terms of winning council support, they were not what the doctor ordered. One of the “Wobblies,” as IWW members are known, further endeared himself to the council by standing up in the front row and refusing to sit back down until a police officer grabbed his elbow and yanked.
There was no chance the resolution was going to pass. But Mayor Moncrief, apparently, still felt like he had to mess with the little group. After two people spoke in favor of the resolution, he tried to shorten their time to speak, but he relented after local Green Party official Diane Wood objected. The third speaker, a veteran of several tours of Iraq, talked about how Bush has laid the groundwork for declaring martial law in this country. As he spoke, he stood with his head down, hands shaking so violently that the paper he held seemed to be blowing in a wind.
In the end, the group’s concerns were dismissed without so much as a batted eye.
Afterward, outside city hall, a few of the Wobblies were still gathered near the door. “Man, I should have got arrested!” said the man who had not wanted to sit down. “That would have been a great show of, like, solidarity. But it would have sucked.”